SYMP: American Art in Dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora @ Smithsonian American Art Museum, October 4-5, 2013

American Art in Dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora

Smithsonian American Art Museum | Eighth and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C.

October 4-5, 2013

This symposium examines the role of Africa and the African Diaspora in the development of art of the United States, from nineteenth-century portraiture to American modernism; from the Harlem Renaissance to the contemporary art world. Speakers include Chika Okeke-Agulu of Princeton University, Krista Thompson of Northwestern University, Jeffrey Stewart of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Celeste-Marie Bernier of the University of Nottingham, James Smalls of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and artist and distinguished scholar David C. Driskell. A full schedule is listed below. For more information, visit AmericanArt.si.edu/research/symposia/2013/terra/.

The event is free, but registration is required at www.America-Africa.eventbrite.com. The symposium will be available through a simultaneous webcast; an archived version will remain online indefinitely. Recordings of past symposia including “Encuentros: Artistic Exchange between the U.S. and Latin America” and “East-West Interchanges in American Art” are now available on the museum’s website, ArtBabble, YouTube, and iTunes U.

“American Art in Dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora” is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Part of the Terra Symposia on American Art in a Global Context, it is supported by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Schedule:

Friday, October 4

9:30 a.m., Welcome

Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Johnnetta Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art

10:00 a.m.–noon, Opening Session

Respondent: Renée Ater, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Maryland, College Park

Tobias Wofford, Assistant Professor of Art History, Santa Clara University

“Feedback: Between American Art and African Art History”

Ikem Stanley Okoye, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Delaware

“The Americanist Quandary: Of the History of African Art in the Work of the American Artist”

Krista Thompson, Associate Professor of Art History, Northwestern University

“Reframing American Art: An African Diasporic Perspective”

2:00–3:30 p.m., Nineteenth-Century Portraiture

Chair: Renée Ater, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Maryland, College Park

Anne Lafont, Associate Professor of Art History, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée

“Paris-Philadelphia: African Figures around 1800, or Portrait of Yarrow as a Mameluke”

Shawn Michelle Smith, Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

“Augustus Washington’s Liberian Daguerreotypes and the Civil Contract of Photography”

Camara Dia Holloway, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Delaware

“‘Aglow in The Darkest Vistas’: Africa, Racial Fantasy, and the Modernist Self Fashioning of F. Holland Day”

4:00–5:30 p.m., Primitivism and Modernism

Chair: Virginia Mecklenburg, Chief Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

James Smalls, Professor of Art History and Theory, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
“Féral Benga: African Muse of Modernism”

Mia Bagneris, Assistant Professor of Art History, Newcomb Art Department, Tulane University

“Fighting the Fetish for Fetiches: Africa in the Work of Palmer Hayden”

Nicholas Miller, PhD Candidate in Art History, Northwestern University

“‘To Paint His Own People’: William H. Johnson’s Avant-Garde Gambits and the Orientalized Black Female Body”

 

Saturday, October 5

10:00 a.m., Welcome

Ruth Fine, Curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington (1972-2012), and Board Member, Terra Foundation for American Art

 

10:10a.m., Opening Remarks

David C. Driskell, Professor Emeritus of Art, University of Maryland, College Park

 

10:30 a.m.–noon, Developing a Trans-African Aesthetic

Chair: Kelly Quinn, Terra Foundation Project Manager for Scholarly and Educational Initiatives, Archives of American Art

Jeffrey C. Stewart, Professor of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“From Transnational to Trans-African: The Circulation of Culture in the Work of Winold Reiss and Romare Bearden”

Rebecca Keegan VanDiver, Fellow, Carter G. Woodson Institute, University of Virginia

“Routes to Roots: Lois Mailou Jones’s Engagement with Africa and the African Diaspora, 1938-70”

Tuliza Fleming, Museum Curator, National Museum of African American History and Culture

“AfriCOBRA in Motion: Evolutions from a Black Nationalist to a Trans-African Aesthetic”

1:30–3:00 p.m., Artists Travel to Africa

Chair: Christine Mullen Kreamer, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, National Museum of African Art

Anne-Grit Becker, PhD Candidate in Art History, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany

“Towards a Language of Material: Cy Twombly’s North African Sketchbook”

Chika Okeke-Agulu, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Art, Princeton University

“Living in Color: Jacob Lawrence and the Osogbo Experience in the Early 1960s”

Peju Layiwola, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, University of Lagos, Nigeria

“Transcultural Conversations: American and Nigerian Art in Dialogue”

 

3:30–5:00 p.m., Reframing the Traditional/Historical in Contemporary Art

Chair: Tuliza Fleming, Museum Curator, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Celeste-Marie Bernier, Professor of African American Studies, University of Nottingham

“Imaging the ‘Face of the Fugitive Slave’ Artist in Black Diasporic Self-Portraiture”

Venny Nakazibwe, Dean of The Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

“African Textiles in Dialogue with Contemporary Fiber Art”

Daniel Haxall, Assistant Professor of Art History, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

“In the Spirit of Négritude, or, Kehinde Wiley Goes to Africa”

 

5:00–7:00 p.m., reception, Luce Foundation Center for American Art

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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